Richardson, Stephen (1794–1860)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Stephen Richardson, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, soldier, and supporter of the Texas Revolution, was born at Mount Desert Island, Maine, on June 1, 1794. He served in the War of 1812 under Col. John E. Wool and later traveled in the South, taught school in Illinois, operated a flatboat plying the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, and sailed in the Gulf of Mexico. On December 22, 1822, he was shipwrecked near the mouth of the Brazos River on the Texas coast. He went inland to San Felipe de Austin, where he established a business with Thomas Davis and enrolled in the Old Three Hundred. He received title to a league of land in what is now Brazoria County on July 10, 1824. In July 1826, in answer to a Mexican plea to relieve famine in Yucatán, Richardson chartered a vessel called the Little Zoe, loaded it with corn and lard, and sailed for Campeche. He was ordered away from Campeche by port authorities and was detained so long at Tampico that his cargo spoiled. In October 1827 he was in Saltillo petitioning the government for redress of his losses, but the matter remained unsettled in June 1828. About that time he married Lucinda Hodge and moved to a spot near Wallis in Austin County; the couple had seven children. In October 1829 Richardson was on a committee to examine the students of Thomas J. Pilgrim's academy and also served on a committee to formulate plans for a new school building. In December 1829 he was defeated by Thomas Barnett in an alcalde election, and in December 1830 he was defeated by Robert M. Williamson in the race for síndico procurador.

In 1832 Richardson moved to Chocolate Bayou in Brazoria County and built a sawmill near the site of present Alvin. The mill washed away in the floods of the summer of 1832, and Richardson moved to the area of present Liverpool, where he built another sawmill. In the fall of 1835 he joined the volunteer army under Francis W. Johnson and took part in the Grass Fight and the siege of Bexar, for which he later received 640 acres, half of which were in Montgomery County. He was secretary of the meeting held at Chocolate Bayou to elect delegates to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. In April 1836 his sawmill at Chocolate Bayou (Brazoria County) furnished lumber for fortifying Galveston Island. In January 1838 Richardson moved to Harrisburg, where he operated a steam sawmill for about ten years. He moved to Houston before March 3, 1849, when, as one of the "Old Texians," he was appointed to a committee to recommend quieting land titles in Texas. He died in Houston on July 6, 1860.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, The Life of Stephen F. Austin (Nashville: Cokesbury Press, 1925; rpts., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1949; New York: AMS Press, 1970). Eugene C. Barker, ed., "Minutes of the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin, 1828–1832," 12 parts, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21–24 (January 1918-October 1920). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of the Cities of Houston and Galveston (Chicago: Lewis, 1895). Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983). Telegraph and Texas Register, March 14, 1837, May 26, 1846. Texas Gazette, October 3, 1829.
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Richardson, Stephen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995

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